Less than 24 hours after posting his first Major League win and beating the Yankees, Jake Arrieta was concentrating on the TV in the O’s clubhouse.
His college team, TCU was taking on Texas in the NCAA’s Super Regionals.
Jake was as calm watching that game as he seemed on the mound Thursday night. Since he got that win, his phone has been blowing up, as they say.
“I had 40 or 50 texts and a bunch of calls. You know it’s just great to have the support from friends and family throughout all these years. Now to know that they are as happy as they are that I made it to the big leagues and that I have their support, it feels good to have them behind me.
“I thought it was special that I heard from Tim Corbin. He’s the Vanderbilt head coach and he was the USA national team head coach when I played with them in college. I love Corbs and to hear from him that was really special for me.
“But they all meant something. Whether it was friends or family or people I’ve come into contact with over the past couple of years. They were all rewarding texts and it was good to hear from all of them.”
Arrieta gave up four hits and three runs over six innings, throwing 106 pitches in his big league debut.
“I feel a lot more relaxed today. Really glad that I got the first one out of the way. I knew it was going to be the way it was, with the adrenaline and all the emotions. Pitching in the big leagues for the first time and facing the Yankees. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“It’s something I’ve looked forward to my whole life. When I was drafted I knew this was the point I wanted to get to. It’s just a rewarding feeling. Today all the emotion has kind of subsided and I feel really confident today.”
Arrieta picked up a few mementoes to remember that game and that special night years from now.
“I did. I got 12 balls from the game that were authenticated. I got my jersey and my first strikeout ball. I plan on framing that jersey with my first strikeout ball, a ticket stub and maybe a picture so I’ll be able to remember that for a long time.”